Sometimes taking cats and plants hand in hand might be difficult given their toxic reactions to the furry ones, with Kalanchoe being one on the list.
So, it is more than clear that you need to take precautionary steps if you want both Kalanchoe and cats in your space. Thus, continue reading.
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Is Kalanchoe Toxic to Cats?
Kalanchoe can be the best option if you adore tiny clusters of bright flowers, but it might not be a good choice if you have cats.
Moreover, the plant’s toxicity increases during spring and summer when it blooms, as the flowers of Kalanchoe are more toxic to cats than other parts.
The toxicity increases because the glycoside concentration level is highest in flowers, and when the cats nibble on it, they may suffer from seizures and abnormal heart rates.
However, ASPCA states that the dose or the level of toxicity of Kalanchoe in smaller animals is unidentified.
But in larger animals like calves, its toxicity or lethal consists of about 7 g of flowers/kg body weight or 40 g of leaves/kg body weight.
What happens when Cats Ingest Kalanchoe?
Kalanchoe is filled with cardiotoxin, so ingesting any part will lead to mild gastrointestinal discomfort for your cats.
Even the report from ASPCA suggests that the pets might start exhibiting symptoms within a few hours of ingestion.
Mild Kalanchoe poisoning symptoms include drooling, pawing at the mouth, irritability, restlessness, diarrhea and abdominal pain, and hemorrhagic enteritis.
However, in severe cases, Kalanchoe toxicity hinders the pacemaking function and electrical and mechanical activity of the heart, resulting in dysfunctional cardiac activities.
They might develop some other severe symptoms in case of more ingestion, including
- Change in heart rate and rhythm (arrhythmias)
- Severe weakness and cold extremities
- Cyanosis, arrhythmia, and persistent diarrhea
Other vivid signs are trembling due to extreme coldness, weakness, and partial consciousness.
If the treatment is not done in time, the toxicosis progresses rapidly, making your cat collapse and ultimately kill due to cardiac arrest.
However, do not fear, as cardiac effects are rare in the case of cats. Only consuming a significant amount of flowers might cause such severe symptoms.
Look over your cat’s mouth for the plants remaining or biting signs in Kalanchoe and any disturbance to its growing pot or soil to confirm consumption.
First Aid Treatment for Kalanchoe Poisoning in Cats
Generally, medical assistance is needed for Kalanchoe poisoning.
However, if the cat has bitten only a small portion and is not showing severe symptoms, you might treat them at home.
Here are some of the first aids to treat the toxic reactions shown by cats due to Kalanchoe.
- First, inspect the mouth of the cat for any Kalanchoe pieces. Save them, if you find any, to show to the vet.
- Then, move your cat to a well-ventilated space. The fluctuating heart rate brings breathing difficulties.
- Thoroughly rinse its mouth with distilled water and allow your cat to drink water.
- Afterward, you can feed them yogurt or milk as it is rich in calcium and soothes the gastrointestinal burning sensation.
- To decontaminate their stomach, provide 3% hydrogen peroxide orally at one teaspoon for 5-10 pounds of body weight.
- Do not induce vomiting without consulting a veterinarian, as it may worsen the condition.
- To detoxify your cat’s insides, inject it with activated charcoal syrup. For every pound of cat, use one gram of activated powder.
Be Aware! Do not feed your cat anything before consulting with veterans. Also, avoid feeding them forcefully.
Alternatively, there are some immediate helplines that you can contact in case of emergencies.
On the other hand, if you were to perform the treatment, you must have pet first aid kits.
And in case your cat constantly scratches and unusually paws, it might have skin irritation. Wash the affected parts with soap water.
If the procedure does not help, provide your cat shower with lukewarm water and soap.
Recovery of Poisoned Cat
The severity of Kalanchoe poisoning is directly proportional to the parts consumed, while the recovery period is directly proportional to the level of poisoning.
Besides, the recovery process is also highly influenced by care, nutrition supplies, hydration, and timely medication.
Hence, ensure to provide your cat with the best care for faster recovery.
Here are the stages that occur after cats ingest Kalanchoe.
4-9 hours = The cat starts developing symptoms like drooling, vomiting, irritability, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, etc.
9-12 hours = If the medication is not provided, cats develop severe symptoms of cardiac dysfunction, irregular and fast heart rate, dyspnea, anorexia, etc.
Alert! If your cat is left unattended for 12-24 hours of Kalanchoe consumption, the effects may turn fatal to them and lead to death.
So better to inject them with medicine as soon as possible to speed up your cat’s recovery.
Two weeks = Your cat will have only mild symptoms and recover entirely at this stage. However, recovery will be delayed in case of severe poisoning.
How to Prevent your Cats from Eating Kalanchoe?
Cats are innocent yet curious creatures. As a result, it is not uncommon for these agile creatures to approach and occasionally munch on houseplants.
However, you can avoid this by maintaining safety precautions.
Here are several methods for keeping your cats from eating Kalanchoe.
- Place your Kalanchoe at a height where the cat cannot climb, for example, on a patio as a hanging basket.
- Make a separate greenhouse to distance cats from plants.
- Next, you can use cat repellent sprays like Nature’s Pet Repellent Spray, which function without harming your plant.
- Similarly, use citrus and peppermint oil to safeguard your Kalanchoe from cats, as they deter the oil smell.
- Likewise, lavender and rosemary can distance your cat from Kalanchoe.
- Cats nibbles plant out of boredom. Hence, keep artificial or cat-safe plants like Pilea to fulfill their desire.
- If you have Kalanchoe outdoors, ensure to fence them.
- Sprinkling coffee grounds is another method. But, it is not a highly reliable method.
- Keep cats away from Kalanchoe using Cat grass, basil, mint, catnip, lavender, cat thyme, and mint.
From Editorial Team
Do not panic even if your cat has nibbled Kalanchoe. Yes, it is poisonous and exhibits unpleasant symptoms. However, it is treatable.
Consult a local veteran or take help from the hotlines immediately. Ensure to hydrate and supply your cat with timely medication and nutrition.